As they look ahead to the 2016 Rio Olympics, athletes have been stepping up their game in 2015. The IAAF Diamond League has ended, and so has this year’s IAAF Championships in Beijing. So we have already seen a number of records broken and marks set this year by the world’s best athletes. Here are the ones that stood out.
The former Boston Marathon winner, USA’s Meb Keflezighi ran 1:03:02 at September’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon to set a new American masters record. Keflezighi’s 20K split of 59:43 was under the old U.S. masters best for that distance, 1:03:23 by Mbarak Hussein. Best known for his victory at the 2014 Boston Marathon, which made him the first American man to win the race in 31 years, Keflezighi also has the New York City Marathon and a 2004 Olympics silver medal to his name.
Due to her pregnancy she had to take a year break from her career but in May 2015 Ennis-Hill made her comeback in the great city games in Manchester, she finished third. Later at the Anniversary Games held in London Olympic Stadium she competed in three events and got selected to compete in Beijing IAAF Championships and went on to win the heptathlon. Ennis had managed to win gold medal at the event by beating Brianne Theisen Eaton with the total 6,669 points. She also finished fourth at the Hypo-Meeting, having won the gold on three occasions in the past.
Mo Farah is by far one of the greatest current British distance runners, having set high standards for himself by clocking a new European record and breaking the British 10000m record for the second time. Before the 2015 IAAF in one of his interview he said “I’m confident I can get close to a medal, but you never know. I’m not going to say, I’m going to get gold. It’s not as simple as thinking I’ll run the fastest time and take gold, it never is, and it’s a very tactical race.” He went to win his fourth World Championship gold in Beijing this year.
Usain Bolt may be the most familiar athlete in the world, but he came into the 2015 IAAF championships as second favourite behind Justin Gatlin, who’s had one of the best athletic years of his life in 2015. But despite that he ran a jaw dropping 100m and 200m race at the event, winning the former with a time of 9.79 seconds. Bolt has confirmed he will not compete again for the rest of the year. “My aim was to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m and I achieved this aim. Now I turn my attention to Rio and the Olympic Games. My big goal now is the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. It will be my last Olympics and I would like to go out in style,” he told the Times of India.
Genzebe Dibaba has been scorching the indoor tracks so far, and it was only a matter of time before that translated to outdoor championships. With a win in the 1500m category at the IAAF Diamond League event in Monaco this year, Dibaba now has an outdoor world record to go with her multiple indoor crowns.
Dibaba, who hails from Ethiopia and has quite a family reputation to live up to, finished with a time 3:50.07, breaking the 22-year-old mark of 3:50.46 set by China’s Qu Yunxia, which was long considered unbreakable. Dibaba’s time is equivalent to a 4:08.41 mile, which would shatter the women’s world record of 4:12.56.
Justin Gatlin was crowned overall 2015 Diamond League champion in the 100m event after winning the final race of this year’s series in 9.98 seconds in Brussels. Gatlin clocked a world-leading 9.74 seconds in Doha this year in May, and then clocked world-leading 19.57 seconds in the 200 metres at the US national trials in Oregon in June. The dope-tainted athlete suffered extreme scrutiny this year, as he performed well beyond anyone’s expectations. Gatlin entered the IAAF Championships as favourite in both sprints only to be outrun by Bolt.